Almost seven out of ten Western Cape voters support a referendum for independence, with around six out of ten voters supporting an independent Western Cape.
This is a significant increase since 2020, when only 47% of voters were in favor of a referendum and only 36% supported independence.
This is how the latest poll of 1,080 respondents by Victory Research, which conducted the survey on behalf of the Cape Independence Advocacy Group (CIAG), shows.
According to the CIAG, support for independence is highest among colored voters for the first time, with 77.5% of respondents supporting it.
The majority of voters believe their quality of life will increase if the Western Cape gains independence, with 80% of colored voters and 72% of white voters sharing this sentiment – only 39% of black voters think they will be better off after independence.
A total of 77% of Western Cape voters support independence because they believe that South Africa is generally on a downward trajectory. A total of 64% would like to have independence to gain more control over their own policies in order to obtain a better life for themselves.
In light of this support, the CIAG wants to ask, together with other organizations that support independence, that a referendum on Western Cape independence be held on election day in 2024.
Alan Winde, Western Cape DA premier, is authorized by section 127(2)(f) of the Constitution to call a provincial referendum.
According to Craig, however, there is a debate about how exactly this right would be put into effect, because the law on referendums that must give effect to this is outdated. The law only makes explicit provision for the president to call a referendum, and not for prime ministers as determined by the Constitution.
However, the CIAG’s legal advisers believe that “Winde’s ability to carry out a referendum can be ‘read into’ the law on referendums”. If this interpretation is contested, “(the prime minister) can simply ask the president (…) to carry out his constitutional call” by calling the referendum.
Craig believes “a Cape independence referendum on election day will be pragmatic and principled” because the IEC already provides in the election framework to add a referendum question to the ballot paper.
“Then giving Western Cape voters the option to avoid any prospect of an ANC government after 2024, by giving them the referendum that two-thirds of them are asking for, is the epitome of democracy,” concludes Craig.